According to the The National Cancer Institute women who do not regularly have a Pap smear to detect HPV or abnormal cells in the cervix are at increased risk of cervical cancer. The new poster child for cancer prevention would be Jade Goody from TV's reality show "Big Brother". She recently was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. She had previously undergone 3 procedures to remove the abnormal cells and when she once again was told she had an abnormal smear test she decided to ignore it (usually it's called dysplasia, but we don't know the specifics of her case). The abnormal cells are sometimes caused by HPV (human papillomavirus)--I'm sure you've seen the recent commercials on TV for the vaccine called Gardasil.
Although there is no early warning signs, PAP smears do help detect cervical cancer. She's quoted as saying she was scared and believed once the cells have been removed that it should not come back. And even though Jade ignored letters from doctors telling her to get another procedure she couldn't ignore much longer. After collapsing, Jade now has to have an urgent hysterectomy to remove her womb and an intensive course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Scary.
Read the story on thedailygoss.com!